At Francis Askew, the teaching of music has been carefully considered to enable our pupils to become confident musicians. Our curriculum aims to provide the children with a secure understanding of music through singing, listening, performing, and composing. We are dedicated to fostering a passion for the subject as well deepening the children’s knowledge and skills in music. We are committed to developing our musician’s creativity, confidence, and appreciation of music in a balanced and non-judgemental way.
Our aim is to provide inclusive and aspirational learning experiences where pupils thrive and build the cultural capital they need to make ambitious choices about their own futures, overcoming any barriers. In music, this is promoted through collaborative and experiential learning opportunities, for example, inviting in guest ensembles so that children can experience high quality performances, access to theatre groups and performances, opportunities to explore music from a range of cultures and backgrounds and opportunities to perform regularly in a range of contexts. Close links with Hull Music Service, partaking in their ‘Wider Opportunities’ scheme and their performance events, allows children to gain relevant, enriching, concrete experiences in areas they might not ordinarily have the opportunity to encounter.
At Francis Askew, we follow the Charanga scheme. Alongside this our subject leaders have carefully worked to create a Subject Progression Document where objectives for each year group are progressively mapped out towards clearly defined curriculum end points. Within the Subject Progression Document, our progressive objectives identify what pupils should know by the end of each year group and link to prior learning. These enable teachers to identify and plug gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills.
Children develop a deep understanding of key concepts as they move through our music curriculum. Key concepts have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge and skills required to successfully achieve in music. Key concepts are revisited and developed as the pupils move through the school to ensure that knowledge and skills are firmly embedded within their long-term memory. These key concepts compliment work carried out across the school reinforcing our 6 broad curriculum drivers (see overall Curriculum Intent). The expectation is that, by the end of primary School, children will know and understand these key concepts in order to continue to build on their musical knowledge as they enter KS3.
Singing (developing pitch, melody, rhythm and control individually and as part of a group)
Listening (exploring feelings and emotions in response to music, giving opinions, identifying instruments, structure, musical features)
Composing (improvising, composing, notating: representing sounds through symbols, standard and non-standard notation)
Performing (singing, playing instruments, individual and groups, practising, rehearsing, presenting, recording, evaluating)
Children will also develop their understanding of identified second order concepts through the music curriculum. These concepts branch across subjects, creating horizontal links across our whole curriculum. They aim to develop flexible knowledge and skills that children can apply to multiple curriculum areas. In music children will be develop their understanding of the following second order concepts:-
Chronology(history of music and changes over time)
Similarity and difference(comparing pieces of music, identifying common/different styles and techniques)
Significance(significant composers, pieces of music and musical movements)
Be able to sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs, perform songs, rhymes, poems and try to move in time with the music.
Express their ideas and feelings about music, explore and engage in music making.
Use props in a performance on their own or in a group.
By the end of key stage 1, children will:
Use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes.
Play tuned and untuned instruments musically.
Listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music.
Experiment with, create, select, and combine sounds using the interrelated dimensions of music.
By the end of key stage 2, children will:
Play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression.
Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music
Listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory
Use and understand staff and other musical notations
Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians
Develop an understanding of the history of music.
At Francis Askew, our music curriculum is carefully mapped out into a long-term plan. This outlines when key concepts will be taught and revisited and shows how these concepts progressively lead towards children achieving our identified music curriculum end points. The long-term plan also enables links between subjects to be identified and carefully planned for to support children’s retention of knowledge and skills.
Children develop their understanding of key concepts through three interrelated pillars:
Competence in controlling sound (instrumental, vocal or with music technology)
Use of a communication system, such as staff notation or guitar tab
Knowledge of the musical elements/interrelated dimensions of music
Knowledge of the components of composition
Knowledge of musical meanings across the world and time
Short term planning in music is informed by the Charanga Units (built into the subject’s long-term plan), and Subject Progression Document. Lesson objectives are clear and sequenced so that outcomes are secure and meaningful.
All children will have access to the music curriculum with work being tailored appropriately for children with SEND – modifying end points so that they are appropriate but remain aspirational. Any child working below their age-related expectation, will receive a tailored curriculum with personalised objectives. This will enable all children to build the skills and knowledge needed to bridge the gap between themselves and their peers enabling them to reach their full potential.
The development of children’s oracy is also given a high profile and is promoted through the use of subject specific terminology and vocabulary needed to work as musicians. When presenting new knowledge learned within our curriculum, children will be directed to specific and progressive vocabulary.
A typical teaching sequence through a unit of work in music at Francis Askew, will include the following elements:
Listening and appraising activities
Familiarisation with the piece or genre being studied
Responding to the music and giving opinions
Identifying key elements, features and vocabulary
Identifying historical period and comparing / contrasting with other pieces
Warm up games
Individual or group
At the beginning of each unit and throughout, children revisit prior learning and link this to new concepts being taught. Additionally, at the end of a learning sequence, children reflect on their new learning and skills and there is opportunity for further teaching when knowledge or skills have not been retained.
Francis Askew work closely with Hull’s Music Service who visit the school each week to teach Year 4 how to play a brass instrument. Pupils are then offered the opportunity to continue learning either a brass or a woodwind instrument in years 5 and 6 – with discrete music lessons.
Weekly singing assemblies and singing clubs are also offered to both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 with further opportunities to perform in high-profile places including the Bonus Arena and Hull City Hall, all of which helps to further develop our children’s cultural capital within music.
Performance is an important part of our curriculum, including Christmas plays from Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2, an annual ‘Sing-Off’ for the whole school, plus additional opportunities provided by Hull Music Service such as Festival of Carols, the Big Blow brass event and the Singing Day. All of these experiences inspire and enable our pupils to increase their self-confidence, develop a love for music and feel a sense of achievement.
A wide range of strategies are used to measure the impact of our music curriculum. Our teaching sequences allow for regular low stakes assessments of how well children are retaining key knowledge and how well they can apply the knowledge and skills learned.
Formative assessments are carried out regularly by teachers during and after each lesson, which inform future planning. Where learning is not secure, additional learning takes place to address this. Additionally, summative assessments are carried out each term by using an internal assessment tool. As a result of these assessment tools, children’s misconceptions or gaps in subject knowledge and skills are addressed and additional teaching and support is provided.
Our subject leaders also monitor the effectiveness of the music curriculum through carrying out regular monitoring evaluations. These evaluations are quality assured by the Curriculum Lead, Senior Leadership and Governors.
The effectiveness of music is also monitored through pupil and parental voice throughout the course of the year.